I come from a long line of sign writers and am happiest with a brush and some paint! Add
paint to fabric and I get really excited!!

Friday, July 19, 2013


The last several weeks have had me contemplating the fragility of life and how our lives can change so very quickly. Someone I had recently met and felt a very strong and almost immediate kinship with, had been struck down at what I feel is a very young age. She suffered a stroke early in the morning as she prepared for work and subsequently passed away 17 days later.

I don’t know her family, except for the stories she shared of them. We exchanged bits of information as we tested the waters of compatibility. We shared details and jokes, lots of laughs, a few whines and complaints. I was impressed with her work ethic, her ability to make people smile, her strong faith and openness of its importance in her life. She told me once that she sang in her church choir but couldn’t read music, so if the choir master sat anyone beside her that sang off-key, they had to move her because gradually she would be singing off-key, too! I am sure she exaggerated because many of her co-workers have told me her voice was that of choir legends, but that was her way, to take the focus off herself and her enviable talent.

We had made plans for me to join her bowling league and I had to promise her I was as terrible a bowler as I suggested I was! She warned me that the goal was always to laugh, although there was a slim chance I might improve if I played every week! And then she laughed that golden laugh and hustled off to the next thing she had to complete.

As we started to get to know each other bit by bit, one day she looked at me and paid me what I consider a huge compliment: she said she thought she and I could work together. Coming from someone who did the work of four people, I felt honoured indeed. Growing up in family businesses taught us lots about pulling our weight, doing our share, being proud of helping out and investing in our own livelihood and future. It felt good that someone recognized that in me and valued it.

This was a woman who was active. She was very involved in several sports, worked hard at home looking after racehorses with her husband, was very active in her church with youth leadership and she still found time to bake for the multitudes. She was only 53. But, as her family said in her obituary, she will be forever 28.....

It has been especially hard that as she was slowly slipping away, I celebrated my birthday and achieved an age she will not. I have no real right to the grief her family is suffering and that they will continue to live with as they try to come to terms with her passing. She has left so, so many people that miss her and who feel the loss so immensely. 

Me? I am missing her and that budding possibility of friendship. 


  1. OH Jennifer! I am sooo sorry for your loss! She was too young! Your description of her shows you already considered her a valued friend and friends have just as much right to grieve! Hugs!

    Happy birthday too!

  2. Marjorie HenwoodJuly 19, 2013 at 8:33 AM

    Sorry for this loss Jennifer....and congratulate you on a very nice write up for your friend

  3. Thanks, Lorette! Appreciate it!

  4. Thank you, Marjorie!